Diwali is an annual festival of Hindus. Generally it falls during the month of October or November. Hindus throughout India celebrate this festival with great joy.
The festival of Diwali has a religious sanction behind it. It was on this day thousands of years ago that Shri Ram Chandra set foot on Ayodhya after completing the 14 years of his exile. His return was a matter of great joy and relief to the people of Ayodhya.
They celebrated the occasion by arranging illuminations on a large scale. Mass prayers were held to mark the esteem with which the people held Shri Ram Chandra. Since those days Diwali is celebrated every year to perpetuate the memory of the reunion between the two royal families.
Apart from religious considerations the festival marks the beginning of winter and change in the crop pattern. Businessmen close their annual account on this day
Diwali is celebrated by illuminating houses and buildings by electric bulbs, wax candles or even earthen lamps. On this day people visit their relations and friends and exchange greetings with packets of sweets and gifts. At midnight the most religious minded among the people perform puja of the goddess Lakshmi who, it is said, blesses her followers with riches on this night.
Many people keep a night-long vigil and do not close their doors in order to facilitate the chance entry of the goddess into their houses. During the day people go out to purchase toys and sweets for their children in mela bazars which suddenly spring up on this day. All houses and shops give a bright look on this day.
Nowadays children are very enthusiastic to celebrate the festival. They make preparations for it weeks in advance. The most popular form of the celebrations is the use of crackers and fireworks of different shapes and explosive capacities.
As soon as the evening falls children come out of their houses, form groups, collect money to purchase crackers and go from street to street making noise by exploding them. Each group competes the other by exploding crackers of bigger force. The noise sometimes becomes intolerable to many a lover of calmness and leads to quarrels. But children always have their own ways to deal with such people.
Though thousands of years have passed since Diwali was first celebrated, yet the spirit of Diwali in the minds of Hindus still remains.